No use throwing an old-fashioned Zach tantrum on this very languid Thursday morning. Let's face the facts like cool, serene Derrick: The Wednesday edition of “Big Brother” was criminally dull this week, and that's — Stuart Smalley voice engaged! — OK. The rigged POV challenge resulted in an expected victory for the Detonators against Donny, Christine found herself floundering in her un-fascinating second life on the show, and Victoria commanded almost 80 seconds of screentime by inviting new teeth into her mouth. Yes, that's right: Victoria's teeth are more exciting houseguests than Victoria.
To help us analyze the remaining players in the game, we invited our pal Andy Herren — the winner of “Big Brother 15” — to drop some commentary about the houseguests. We'll handle this in an orderly, completely asinine fashion.
Cody: Hot Guy Playing a Cold War
Andy Herren: Okay, so Cody has been getting a lot of hate from fans for being a “floater” and a “p*ssy.” I do not understand either sentiment. A floater is typically seen as someone who has no loyalty; a houseguest who grovels at the feet of whoever is in power. Cody has had a solid alliance with Derrick for WEEKS, and he is letting Derrick do most of the dirty work. I call that SMART. As for the “pussy” viewpoint, Cody is genuinely well liked by everyone at this point. Why on Earth would he make a “power move” and piss someone off? If he puts up someone from his alliance, people will think he can”t be trusted. By putting up Donny and Nicole, he has covered his bases and done the collective bidding of the house, which is the exact right move for his game this week. Also, he draws smiley faces in his zeros, and for that he will forever have a spot in my heart.
HitFix: I echo Andy's support, but I will say I'm waiting for Cody to do anything worthy of a first-place finish on “Big Brother.” So far he's managed to call everyone in the house either “This kid” or “This guy,” which is not the sign of a brilliant Svengali. I admire the alliance he's built, but I still feel he's more likely to get nominated and booted than Derrick or Frankie.
Nicole: The (Don't)-Comeback Kid
HitFix: Nicole is in the unenviable position of being a houseguest who should've been eliminated, was eliminated, has come back into the game thanks to a truly awful competition that amounted to beginners' air hockey, and now must contend with people who are successfully competing. Even as she knows Donny is likely toast this week, she must win the next HOH — and not just because she wants to stay in the game. If she doesn't win that HOH, her second chance in the house will feel like even more of a waste. We don't need more “waste” in a season that has forced Team America, Frankie Grande's “fans,” and the ever-boring reign of Derrick on us. Nicole is easy to like and impossible to root for.
Andy Herren: Dammit, she”s adorable. No, scratch that: She”s aDORKable. Ugh. Scratch THAT. I don”t use words like adorkable because I”m not a monster. I really hope she can gain some traction in the house, because I think she”s smart in comparison to everyone else. This isn”t a huge compliment, as she is playing against people like Caleb and Victoria, who I worry may kill themselves by running into a sharp counter edge any day now.
Donny: The Brilliant Ignoramus
Andy Herren: Donny”s ability to not understand that everyone hates him is probably why everyone hates him. Don”t get me wrong, I LOVE Donny, but his social game is atrocious. He goes to bed early, he can”t gain any traction with people because he is unable to properly articulate himself without coming across as terrifying, and he consistently says the wrong things to the wrong people. I worry that he is going to leave this week, which breaks my heart, but it is also totally understandable.
HitFix: I guess Donny is sweet and sincere. I guess? Sort of. You know what he really is? A nightmare. I picture waking up in the “Big Brother” house to find Donny inches from my face and whispering, “Want to hear a secret that a parakeet told me?” And I really don't. Donny is the kind of character who comes off really well on “Big Brother”: a hapless outsider who is very nice and even a bit keen when it comes to sticking it out as a fringe player. What he lacks in social skills and un-creepy cooing he makes up for with moments of intuition. I really wanted to him to properly align with some power players, but it seems like he's toast. He's been fun, but who can argue with his dismissal?
Victoria: Wisdom is Literally Falling Out of Her Mouth.
HitFix: Allow me to respond as Carrie Bradshaw to Victoria's performance this week: “When I realized that Victoria's wisdom teeth drama was more interesting than anything else she's done in the house, I had to wonder: Is a toothless victory ultimately worth it?” When Vicki's face looked a little puffy and I assumed it was because she was thinking too hard, that's when I knew she was a true “Big Brother” superstar. Question: How won't she get second place in this competition? She's headed for the sunny vistas of Ginamarieville, y'all. Ain't no one stopping her. Congratulations?
Andy Herren: She”s so useless that, even with a crippling wisdom teeth injury, everyone still wants her around. It”s the point in Big Brother where the remaining players should have been praying that her injury would take her out of the game, but they all want to drag her to the final two, so instead they were praying for a speedy recovery. I”m going to say it right now: Victoria is playing the best second place game in the history of Big Brother. Also, I”m still not over her IMPECCIBLE delivery in her goodbye message to Zach last week. Go, Vicky, go!
Caleb: A Beauty in Beast Mode
Andy Herren: He is easily the dumbest person in the house, and he is also the most boastful. This results in a phenomenally monstrous combination of Caleb spouting nonsense, yet feeling incredibly confident about this nonsense. At some point tonight, his adorably clueless face exclaimed, “We can”t trust Donny! He”s thinking even when he”s not thinking!” Please never change, Caleb.
HitFix: I wish every episode featured Caleb trying to explain how he knows another player is smart. Let me paraphrase his Donny analysis: “Donny! He's sooo smart. Sooo. His eyes — they move. Watch his eyes. Sometimes he'll be talking, and his eyes will move. Over here. Down there. To the right. His eyes, y'all. I'm serious. His eyes don't sit still. Not at all. Look at my eyes. See how they look like sad Valium peepers of an old Furby? Donny's aren't like that. They act all jumpy. That's about all I got. Miss you, Amber.”
Christine: Still the Reigning Underdog?
Andy Herren: Everyone seems to hate Christine, and I get it. She isn”t particularly engaging, she consistently plots against the players everyone loves, and she is ready to backstab at the drop of a hat. All of these are reasons why I still think she is a valid contender to win Big Brother 16. By not being at the forefront of anything, she remains in the shadows of bigger targets. By plotting against the players America loves, she solidifies her spot as a loyal member of The Detonators. By having a penchant for backstabbing, she shows that she has the cunning ambition to emerge victorious at the end of the season. Christine has been my pick to win from before the season even began, and I”m hoping she proves me right.
HitFix: Say what you will about her pettiness or cravenness or whatever, but Christine seems like one of the last few players left who could stage a coup and turn the game around. With Zach out of the house, what the hell else can we root for?
Derrick: The Silent Strategist
He is controlling everything, and it is simultaneously maddening and thrilling. Maddening is the fact that his game play is making the season quite boring to watch. The underdogs have remained underdogs, as Derrick and his cronies have steamrolled through the house for months. Thrilling is the way in which Derrick is able to enact his strategy to a precise degree. He has performed some sort of undercover cop voodoo magic trick on everyone, and they are all under his spell, willing to do his bidding at the drop of a (cut up pink) hat.
HitFix: How weird is it that everyone in the house seems aware of Derrick's utter supremacy? No one's too alarmed about it either. It's very “Martha Marcy May Marlene” or “The Master” and Derrick is just John Hawkes/Philip Seymour Hoffman-ing it up while everyone else is playing an Elizabeth Olsen/Amy Adams game. Or whatever. (I never saw “The Master.”) If Derrick could just be a little more hostile with his machinations, I'd really be on his team. But it's hard to applaud gameplay when it feels like his competition is merely falling in line.
Frankie: One Less Problem Without Frankie
HitFix: It's week 97 and Frankie still looks like an adult member of the Burger King Kids Club. Do I think he's a fine game player? Yeah, basically. I'm not sold on his endgame, but he's been shrewd enough to know when he needs attention and when attention should be diverted. The problem is that he's someone who mistakes opening his eyes wide for having a personality. Some weeks that doesn't bother me, but this week it did. When will this guy's number be up? Soon? Hoping for soon, guys. That's the kind of “Break Free” he deserves.
Andy Herren: No. Just no. I can”t anymore.